Portland pays price for goaltender . . . Brandon, Kelowna swap d-men . . . Kootenay adds two players

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Thursday, 3 p.m. MT)

Wednesday’s action:

No. of trades: 3.

Players: 4.

Bantam draft picks: 8.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

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Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 33.

Players: 61.

Bantam draft picks: 53.

Conditional draft picks: 11.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)

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Who knew the price for a goaltender with 14 career regular-season victories would be so high?

The Portland Winterhawks have acquired G Joel Hofer, 18, from the Swift Current PortlandBroncos, but they had to give up six WHL bantam draft picks, including two first-rounders, in exchange.

Obviously not content with his goaltending, Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, surrendered first-round picks in the 2019 and 2021 bantam drafts, along with a third-rounder in 2019, and second-, fourth and fifth-rounders in 2020.

According to Shaun Mullin, the Broncos’ radio voice, the 2019 third-round pick originally belonged to the Kootenay Ice, while the fifth-rounder in 2020 originated with the Everett Silvertips.

Hofer, a Winnipegger, was a second-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL’s 2018 draft. He has yet to sign an NHL contract. Chances are that he will be in the WHL next season, too.

Hofer’s career numbers are 14-24-5, 3.55, .907.

Last season, as a WHL freshman, he got into 19 games, going 8-3-2, 2.61, .914. He made only two playoff appearances (2.60, .875), playing just 46 minutes as the Broncos won the WHL championship.

Hofer started last season backing up Logan Flodell and finished it behind Stuart Skinner after the Broncos were involved in a deadline deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes that included a swap of goaltenders.

This season, playing on the team with the WHL’s poorest record, Hofer is 6-21-3, 4.02, .904. It is that last figure, considering that he has faced more shots than any other WHL goaltender this season, that would seem to have  caught Johnston’s attention.

The Winterhawks have used two goaltenders — sophomore Shane Farkas, 19, and freshman Dante Giannuzzi, 16 — this season. Farkas, from Penticton, B.C., is 23-9-5, 2.88, .900 in 38 games, with Giannuzzi, who is from Winnipeg, at 1-2-0, 4.09, .833 in four appearances. Combined, they have a 2.97 GAA and a .897 save percentage.

Last week, the Winterhawks added G Evan Fradette, 17, to their roster from the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders. He just backstopped the team to the championship at the Mac’s midget tournament in Calgary. A fifth-round pick by Portland in the 2016 bantam draft, he hasn’t yet gotten into a game with the Winterhawks, who are on their East Division swing.

The Winterhawks opened that swing in Swift Current on Friday, beating Hofer four times on 47 shots in a 5-3 victory.

Portland took a 3-0-0 record on the trip into Wednesday night’s game with the Regina Pats. The Winterhawks also will stop in Prince Albert on Friday and Saskatoon on Saturday before heading home to face the Everett Silvertips on Jan. 19.

From a Portland perspective, this deal is all about the Winterhawks trying to get to the same level as the Silvertips. Going into Wednesday games, Everett (31-8-2) leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over Portland (24-11-5).

With the likes of forwards Cody Glass and Joachim Blichfeld in their final seasons with the Winterhawks, Johnston no doubt feels that it’s now or never.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are looking two, three and four seasons down the road. Their SCBroncoscupboard got stripped bare a year ago as Emanuel Viveiros, then the director of player personnel and head coach, loaded up for what turned into a successful championship run.

To fill the vacancy created by Hofer’s departure, the Broncos signed Riley Lamb, a 20-year-old who has played this season with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings and Yorkton Terriers.

A native of Rivers, Man., Lamb actually was traded by the Red Wings to the Terriers on Jan. 2. In the deal, Yorkton gave up G Ben Laidlaw and the junior A rights to D Parker Gavlas, 19, who is with the Edmonton Oil Kings, and D Christian Riemer, 18, who is with Swift Current.

In 26 games with Weyburn, Lamb was 9-13-3, 3.43, .912. In three games with Yorkton, he was 1-2-0, 3.38, .889. Combined, he was 10-15-3, 3.43, .910.

Lamb spent the previous two seasons with the Red Deer Rebels, going 27-23-13 in 73 appearances.

In Swift Current, Lamb will partner with freshmen Isaac Poulter, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg, who was a sixth-round selection by the Broncos in the 2016 bantam draft.

Lamb joins F Tanner Nagel and D Matt Stanley as Swift Current’s three 20-year-old players.

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The Brandon Wheat Kings have traded D Schael Higson, who was dropped from their BrandonWKregularroster last week, to the Kelowna Rockets for D Braydyn Chizen and a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Both players are 20 years of age.

Higson, a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder from Grande Prairie, Alta., has 79 points, including 18 goals, in 282 regular-season games, 90 of them with the Saskatoon Blades and 192 with Brandon. This season, he had three goals and 14 assists in 20 games when he was a healthy scratch prior to game in Moose Jaw against the Warriors. He then KelownaRocketswas dropped from Brandon’s roster.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Chizen is from St. Albert, Alta. He was a ninth-round pick by the Rockets in the 2013 WHL draft, and was a seventh-round selection by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL’s 2016 draft. However, the Wild never signed him and he now is a free agent.

In 211 regular-season games with the Rockets, he recorded 11 goals and 23 assists.

The Wheat Kings still have room for another 20-year-old, with only Chizen and F Linden McCorrister on their roster.

In Kelowna, Higson joins F Lane Zablocki and D Dalton Gally as the 20s.

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The Kootenay Ice has acquired D Brenden Kwiatkowski, 18, from the Moose Jaw KootenaynewWarriors for a ninth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Kwiatkowski, from Grande Prairie, Alta., had one assist in 22 games with the Warriors last season. This season, he has two assists in 14 games.

Meanwhile, the Ice has signed G Curtis Meger, 20, who had been with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats.

From Regina, Meger got into 27 games with the Prince Albert Raiders last season, going 8-10-6, 3.43, .886.

This season, with Lloydminster, he was 4-14-0, 4.02, .892.

With the Ice, he joins veteran Duncan McGovern, 18, and freshman Jesse Makaj, 17, in the goaltending department. Going into Wednesday’s game in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes, McGovern was 6-15-2, 4.81, .868, with Makaj at 2-12-5, 4.23, .881. Each of them had appeared in 23 games.

The Ice had room for a 20-year-old after trading D Dallas Hines to the Vancouver Giants. Meger joins F Jaeger White and D Martin Bodak as the Ice’s 20-year-olds.

Prior to Wednesday, the Ice, with the WHL’s second-poorest record and surrounded by speculation about what is expected to be a move to Winnipeg at season’s end, has used 41 players. That, of course, will rise to 43 once Kwiatkowski and Meger appear in a game.

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Brandon hopes to deal veteran d-man . . . McClennon nearly ready to return . . . Rebels pull victory out of the fire


MacBeth

D Ty Wishart (Prince George, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) has been released by Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had four goals and three assists in 27 games.


ThisThat

The Brandon Wheat Kings have dropped D Schael Higson, 20, from their roster and are BrandonWKregularhoping to trade him before the Jan. 10 deadline. . . . Higson, from Grande Prairie, Alta., has three goals and 14 assists in 20 games this season. . . .

The first indication that something was happening with Higson came on Monday prior to Brandon’s 3-1 loss to the Warriors in Moose Jaw. Higson was scratched and, prior to the game, Brandon Crowe, the radio voice of the Wheat Kings, tweeted that he had been told Higson’s absence was a “coach’s decision . . . he did not make the trip.” . . . 

In his fifth WHL season, Highson has played 90 regular-season games with the Saskatoon Blades and 192 with the Wheat Kings. In those 282 games, he has 18 goals and 61 assists. . . . Higson’s departure leaves Brandon with one 20-year-old on its roster — F Linden McCorrister.

The Wheat Kings, who have lost four in a row and seven of 10, are at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night. The skid has knocked the Wheat Kings out of a playoff spot; they had held the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, but now trail the Calgary Hitmen by two points. Brandon has two games in hand. . . . The Wheat Kings are fourth in the East Division, 10 points behind the third-place Moose Jaw Warriors.


D Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks has been suspended for four games whlafter taking a kneeing major and game misconduct during a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. Quigley hit F Dillon Hamaliuk on the play. Hamaliuk was injured and isn’t expected to play again this season. . . . Quigley sat out Sunday’s rematch in Portland, and will miss road games Friday (Swift Current), Saturday (Moose Jaw) and Tuesday (Brandon) before being eligible to return on Jan. 9 in Regina. . . .

Meanwhile, Seattle D Cade McNelly drew a three-game suspension after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Michal Kvasnica in Portland on Monday. . . .

As well, Seattle F Matthew Wedman has a TBD suspension after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on F Jake Gricius in that Monday game. Gricius left the game and didn’t return. However, he is with the Winterhawks on their Central Division and is expected to play Friday in Swift Current.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have added F Mike Horon to their roster. Horon, 17, was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Tuesday. From Lethbridge, he was playing for the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes and was leading the Alberta Midget Hockey League in scoring, with 50 points, including 25 goals, in 21 games. . . . Seattle got Horon, F Keltie Jeri-Leon, 18, and a 2019 fourth-round bantam draft pick from Lethbridge for G Liam Hughes, 19, and an eighth-round pick in the 2019 draft. . . . The Thunderbirds are to open an East Division swing in Brandon on Friday night.


The Spokane Chiefs have added D Graham Sward, 15, to their roster. He was Spokane’s first-round selection, 17th overall, in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Sward, from Abbotsford, B.C., has five goals and 12 assists in 19 games with the major midget Fraser Valley Thunderbirds. . . . He will be available to play with the Chiefs on Friday against the visiting Kamloops Blazers and on Saturday in Cranbrook, B.C., against the Kootenay Ice.


F Connor McClennon, who was the second overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft, Kootenaynewappears to be close to returning to the Kootenay Ice’s lineup. . . . McClennon, 16, hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Nov. 24 in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . McClennon, who has four goals and eight assists in 19 games, was a full participant in the Ice’s practice on Wednesday. . . . Kootenay will play three games in fewer than 48 hours this weekend. It is to meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Friday, then return to Cranbrook, B.C., to face the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday and the Vancouver Giants on Sunday. . . . The Ice (8-24-7) has lost four in a row (0-3-1) and is 1-6-3 in its last 10 outings. Kootenay is 15 points away from the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.


The Everett Silvertips have added F Justyn Gurney to their roster. Gurney, 18, has been playing with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles. The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder has six goals and seven assists in 23 games. . . . He has previous WHL experience, having totalled three goals and five assists in 86 games. . . . He played 85 games over two seasons (2016-18) with the Calgary Hitmen, who selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . Earlier this season, he got into one game with the Regina Pats. . . . The Silvertips placed him on their protected list on Dec. 13. . . . The Silvertips are to visit the Tri-City Americans on Friday night.


F Jared Legien’s latest WHL stint has come to an end. Legien, 20, left the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers last week to join the Vancouver Giants. He played three games with the Giants, putting up a goal and two assists. . . . All three points came in his first game with Vancouver, a 6-0 victory over the Rebels in Red Deer on Friday. . . . On Wednedsay, the Terriers tweeted that “Legien is returning to the orange and black” and is expected to be in Yorkton’s lineup on Friday against the visiting Flin Flon Bombers. . . . Before joining the Giants, Legien had 28 goals and 24 assists in 32 games with the Terriers. . . . Legien, who was selected by the Kootenay Ice with the ninth pick of the 2013 bantam draft, has 28 goals and 34 assists in 148 regular-season WHL games split among the Ice, Victoria Royals, Regina Pats and the Vancouver.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Dawson Pasternak, 15, a Winnipegger who is playing in the Sioux Falls, S.D., Power program with the U-16 team. . . . Pasternak leads the Power in goals (13) and points (37) in 32 games. . . . Pasternak was a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Prior to this season, Pasternak was a defenceman with the bantam AAA Winnipeg Hawks.


The Prince Albert Raiders have signed F Cole Nagy, 17, to a WHL contract. Nagy, who is from Saskatoon, is in his second season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. Last season, he had eight goals and seven assists in 37 games. . . . This season, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Nagy is leading the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League in scoring, with 49 points, including 21 goals, in 32 games. . . . Nagy was a sixth-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2016 bantam draft.


The Prince George Cougars have added F Craig Armstrong, 15, to their roster. From PrinceGeorgeAirdrie, Alta., he was the Cougars’ first selection, ninth overall, in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Armstrong is playing for the Edge School Mountaineers’ midget prep team, and has 11 goals and 12 assists in 23 games. . . . Armstrong will help fill a spot on the roster that was created when F Ilijah Colina suffered an undisclosed injury during a 2-1 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops on Sunday. He is out week-to-week. . . . The Cougars are to meet the Rockets in Kelowna on Friday night, before completing an 11-game road trip against the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday and the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday.


The SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings have removed the ‘interim’ from head coach Kyle Haines’ title. . . . Haines moved up from assistant coach following the firing of Wes Rudy on Dec. 15. . . . The Red Wings now have decided that Haines, 31, who played three seasons (2005-08) there, will be the head coach, at least through the end of this season. . . . This is Haines’ first season as a coach. Last season, he played for the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers.


WHL players at the World Junior Championship:

Brandon — G Jiri Patera (Czech Republic).

Medicine Hat — G Mads Sogaard (Denmark).

Moose Jaw — D Josh Brook (Canada).

Portland — F Cody Glass (Canada).

Prince Albert — G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason (Canada).

Red Deer — D Alex Alexeyev (Russia).

Seattle — F Andrej Kukuca (Slovakia).

Spokane — F Jared Anderson-Dolan, D Ty Smith (Canada); D Filip Kral (Czech Republic).

Tri-City — F Krystof Hrabik (Czech Republic).

Vancouver — F Milos Roman (Slovakia).

Victoria — F Phillip Schultz (Denmark).


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F James Hamblin scored twice and added an assist to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-Tigers Logo Official3 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . The Tigers (21-15-3) have won four in a row. They are fourth in the Central Division, one point behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Giants (23-11-2) have lost three straight. They are 1-3-0 on a six-game Central Division trip. Vancouver leads the B.C. Division by 11 points over the Victoria Royals and Kelowna Rockets. . . . Hamblin gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 15:13 of the first period. . . . The Giants took a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from F Davis Koch (11), at 1:07, and F Justin Sourdif (8), just 22 seconds later. . . . Hamblin tied it with his 23rd goal of the season, at 14:45. . . . F Elijah Brown (6) put Medicine Hat in front 3-2 at 15:18, and D Hayden Ostir (8) upped the lead to 4-2, on a PP, at 8:48 of the third. . . . F Lukas Svejkovsky (3) got the Giants to within a goal at 11:39. . . . The Tigers won 41 of the game’s 60 faceoffs. . . . G Jordan Hollett, who was playing in his 100th WHL game, stopped 29 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Tigers were without F Bryan Lockner, who, according to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, “hit his head on the ice in a fight Sunday.” After the game, McCracken confirmed that Lockner is in concussion protocol.


F Cam Hausinger’s shootout goal gave the Red Deer Rebels a 5-4 victory over the visiting Red DeerLethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Red Deer (22-12-2) is tied with Lethbridge (19-10-8) for second in the Central Division, three points behind the idle Edmonton Oil Kings (21-12-7). . . . Lethbridge has points in three straight (1-0-2). . . . The Rebels forced OT with two goals in the last two minutes of the third period. . . . F Reese Johnson (17) was credited with the first of those goals after Lethbridge D Ty Prefontaine inadvertently scored an own-goal at 18:05. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (23) tied it, on a PP, with 6.6 seconds left in the period. . . . Both goals came with G Ethan Anderson the bench for the extra attacker. . . . The Hurricanes led 2-0 in the first period on goals from F Jake Leschyshyn (25), at 3:48, and D Calen Addison (7), at 10:12. . . . F Jeff de Wit (21) cut the Rebels deficit to one at 10:58. . . . F Dylan Cozens (22) restored the two-goal lead 51 seconds into the second period. . . . Hagel got his guys back to within a goal at 17:08. . . . F Taylor Ross (21) gave the Hurricanes a 4-2 lead at 5:59 of the third period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead in the shootout, but the Rebels won it on goals from Hagel, who also had an assist, and Hausinger. . . . Leschyshyn’s goal, the 70th of his career, left him with 150 points in 226 games. . . . F Nick Henry had three assists for Lethbridge, with the first one being the 100th of his career. He has 169 points, 102 of them assists, in 163 games. . . . Anders finished with 28 saves. . . . G Liam Hughes, who was acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday, stopped 26 shots in his Lethbridge debut.


Tweetoftheday

Broncos add d-man, release forward . . . Giants win 13-round shootout . . . Lambert a winner in return to Swift Current


MacBeth

F Marek Tvrdoň (Vancouver, Kelowna, 2010-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Klagenfurt II (Switzerland, Alps HL). This season, he had one goal in four games with Saryarka Karaganda (Kazakhstan, Russian Vysshaya Liga). The contract with Klagrenfurt II has a one-month “probationary” period. . . .

G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). Last season, with Fribourg-Gottéron (Switzerland, NL A), he was 2.29, .926 in 38 games. . . . Side note on Kunlun Red Star: The KHL schedule states that Kunlun has played or will play all of its home games in Shanghai until Christmas Day, when they will move their home games to Beijing. . . .

D Brett Carson (Moose Jaw, Calgary, 2001-06) has signed a contract with KooKoo Kouvola (Finland, Liiga). The contract is for the rest of this season, but there is an unspecified “probationary” period. Last season, he had two goals and five assists in 56 games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga). He was an alternate captain. . . .

F/D Curt Gogol (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Chilliwack, 2007-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Manglerud (Norway, GET-Ligaen). This season, with Kalmar (Sweden, Division 1), he had one assist in four games.


ThisThat

The Swift Current Broncos have acquired D Garrett Sambrook from the Brandon Wheat SCBroncosKings for a conditional ninth-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft. . . . From Medora, Man., Sambrook, 18, was a sixth-round pick by Brandon in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . The Wheat Kings released him earlier this season and he has been playing with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals, recording three assists in seven games. . . . In 70 games with the Wheat Kings over three seasons, he put up one goal and nine assists. . . . Sambrook didn’t play in the Broncos’ 4-1 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Friday night.

Later Friday, the Broncos announced that they had released F Colum McGauley. The 18-year-old, from Wilcox, Sask., was pointless in two games with the Broncos this season. . . . Last season, he had two goals in 47 games with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Spokane Chiefs selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 WHL bantam draft. . . . The Rockets dealt F Tanner Wishnowski to Spokane for McGauley, on Oct. 27, 2016. On July 10, Kelowna dealt him to the Broncos for an eighth-round selection in the 2021 bantam draft.


Please feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a donation to the Taking Note cause. . . . One regular reader who did just that wrote: “Definitely the best source of info for junior hockey, and really enjoy the writing. It’s one of my first visits every morning.”


The Kamloops Blazers have released D Tylor Ludwar, 19, and he is expected to join the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. Ludwar, from Regina, had gotten into only one game with the Blazers this season. . . . Ludwar had one goal and two assists in 53 games last season, after recording two assists in 19 games in 2016-17.


Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette has more on Lyle Odelein and what he has been through right here. Odelein, 50, is from Quill Lake, Sask. He played three seasons (1985-88) with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Odelein was tough, but he also put up 163 points in 189 regular-season games.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed F Josh Hoekstra to a WHL contract. From Edmonton, he was a fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . This season, he is played with OHA-Edmonton’s Elite 15s. In five games, he has three assists. Last season, he had eight goals and 18 assists in 30 games with the OHA-Edmonton bantam prep team.


Ryan Oulahen has stepped aside from his position as head coach of the OHL’s Flint ohlFirebirds. A post on the team’s website reads that Oulahen has left “due to personal and family reasons. He will be leaving the position effective immediately.” . . . Greg Stefan, the team’s goaltending coach, worked as the head coach on Friday night, with associate coach Darcy Findlay and assistant coach Garrett Rutledge staying in their roles. . . . The Firebirds were 0-7-0 going into Friday’s games, leaving them last in the 10-team Western Conference. Last night, they fell to 0-8-0 with a 5-3 loss to the visiting North Bay Battalion. . . . Oulahen, 33, was in his third season as Flint’s head coach. . . . Brendan Savage of mlive.com has more right here.


FRIDAY NIGHT NOTES:

D Kaleb Bulych scored in the 13th round of a shootout as the Vancouver Giants beat the VancouverKamloops Blazers, 4-3, in Langley, B.C. . . . The Giants ran their winning streak to five games. . . . The Blazers have lost six in a row (5-0-1). . . . F Luc Smith’s second goal of the game, at 15:33 of the third period, gave Kamloops a 3-1 lead. . . . F Davis Koch got the Giants to within one at 17:33 and F Milos Roman tied it with 10.7 seconds left in the period. . . . The Giants won the shootout, 2-1, getting their other goal from D Bowen Byram in the third round, after F Connor Zary had scored for Kamloops to end the second round. . . . A pregame note from Steve Ewen of Postmedia: “Also of note with Friday’s game is the coaching matchup. Michael Dyck signed on as bench boss with the Giants in June, but not before talking to the Blazers about their open post, if you believe the rumour mill. The Blazers announced Serge Lajoie as their new coach three days ahead of the Dyck addition in Vancouver, but Lajoie had spoken to the Giants, according to scuttlebutt.”


F Max Gerlach scored three times, including the OT winner, as the Saskatoon Blades beat the visiting Red Deer Rebels, 3-2. . . . Gerlach, who has seven goals, tied the game, 2-2, at 19:44 of the third period and won it at 3:44 of OT. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 23 shots. F Alex Morozoff of the Rebels came up short on a penalty shot at 16:41 of the third period with his guys ahead 2-1. . . . The Blades have won four in a row; the Rebels are 4-0-1 in their past five. . . . D Jackson Caller was back in Saskatoon’s lineup after missing four games with an undisclosed injury.


F Bryce Kindopp broke a 3-3 tie with 2:57 left in the third period as the host Everett Silvertips got past the Edmonton Oil Kings, 5-3. . . . Kindopp’s third goal of the season came via the PP. . . . F Connor Dewar had two goals — giving him six — and two assists for Everett, for his second career four-point game. . . . The Oil Kings have lost six in a row (0-5-1); they are 0-4-0 in the U.S. Division. They wrap up this six-game road trip tonight in Kent, Wash., against the Seattle Thunderbirds.


G Bailey Brkin stopped 28 shots to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . The Broncos, the WHL’s reigning champions, now are 0-7 to open the season. . . . Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) notes that this is the Broncos’ first seven-game losing streak “since an 11-game winless stretch in November and December of 2015.” Brandow adds that the Broncos are the “first defending title holder in Internet Era to lose first six the following season.” . . . The Chiefs have points in six straight (4-0-2). . . . This game marked the return of Dan Lambert to Swift Current for the first time as head coach of the Chiefs. Lambert was an all-star defenceman with the Broncos and helped them win the 1989 Memorial Cup. He is in his second season as the Chiefs’ head coach; they didn’t play in Swift Current last season.


D Linus Nassen had a goal and two assists, his first goal of the season coming 28 seconds into the game, to help the host Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Tigers improved to 4-5-1. . . . Prince George (2-5-1) has lost four in a row. . . . After the game, Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat Tigers tweeted: “Tigers not commenting on the status of Gary Haden, who was scratched from tonight’s game.” . . . McCracken also tweeted that Tigers skaters “Joel Craven and Trevor Longo both left tonight’s game and are questionable” for Saturday’s game.


D Schael Higson had five points, including two goals, as the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings scored a 5-4 OT victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (3) won it 25 seconds into extra time. . . . Higson, 20, has three goals and eight assists in six games. Last season, he had career highs of five goals and 23 assists in 71 games. . . . The Warriors got four assists from F Justin Almeida, with F Tristin Langan adding two goals and an assist. . . . The Wheat Kings (5-0-1) have yet to lose in regulation time. . . . The Warriors are 3-0-2 in their last five. . . . This was the fourth meeting in three weeks between these teams — Brandon is 3-0-1; Moose Jaw is 1-2-1.


In Cranbrook, B.C., the Regina Pats built up a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Pats (2-6-0) had lost their previous two games; the Ice had won its previous two games. . . . Freshman F Sergei Alkhimov gave the visitors a 2-0 lead when he scored his second goal of the season on a penalty shot at 7:46 of the second period. . . . According to the online scoresheet, Regina was 46-for-65 on faceoffs. That’s 71 per cent.


The Kelowna Rockets snapped a four-game losing skid with a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. The Rockets improved to 2-8-0. . . . F Kyle Topping (3) gave the Rockets a 3-1 lead at 5:30 of the third period. . . . F Michael Farren, acquired Thursday from the Saskatoon Blades, wasn’t in Kelowna’s lineup. The Rockets also scratched two 20-year-olds — F Lane Zablocki, who has yet to play, and F Ryan Bowen. . . . The two head coaches — Jason Smith of Kelowna and Tri-City’s Kelly Buchberger — both are former captains of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . The Rockets and Americans will play again tonight, this time in Kelowna.


The Calgary Hitmen won for the first time in seven games, beating the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-5. . . . Calgary (1-5-1) built up a 6-2 lead, then allowed three goals, two of them by F Logan Barlage (4), in the game’s last 6:05. . . . The Hitmen got two goals and an assist from F Mark Kastelic (5), a goal and two helpers from F Jake Kryski (5), and three assists from D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . G Jack McNaughton stopped 34 shots to earn his first WHL victory.


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